The Los Angeles Lakers are on a bit of a skid. They’ve lost three of their last four games, including their most recent loss against the Brooklyn Nets on January 30. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis were out for the game against Brooklyn, and it ended up being too much for the Lakers to deal with.
With James and Davis sidelined, the Nets unleashed their full wrath on the Lakers. Kyrie Irving led the way, but five total Brooklyn players scored in the double digits.
After the game, Irving was asked about James sitting out on the first night of a back-to-back and what the NBA is doing to fix the fan complaints about rest days such as this one. He delivered a long, well-thought-out response on the matter via the Nets’ official YouTube channel:
To be honest with you, I’ve been on both sides of the conversation. In terms of trying to get as much rest for a long-time journey, you know, you’re going back to the Finals, or you know, kind of just going through the day-to-day, and you just want to be ready for the big picture. And then on the other side, guys going down, and you feel called to play every single game where, of course, it’s about the performance and the fans, and you want to show up, but you want to, more or less, show up for the organization, show up for your teammates, and get as many wins as you can, because these wins matter early. So, we’re definitely taking the necessary steps to have a conversation with NBA about what it looks like for quote-unquote star players missing games or the superstar players not necessarily being available. It’s a long season, man. It’s a grind-it-out season. Eighty-two games, it’s a lot on our bodies. I will not complain about it because I put my body in a great position every day, but it takes a lot of people a long time to figure out what their routine looks like at a very high level. So, there’s a figuring-out process. Basically, what I’m saying from the NBA side and the NBPA side on how we can reconcile some of these issues that the fans bring up, or the media brings up, or people bring up of why people aren’t available. So, I see it from both sides, and I have to sit in the middle and just say, we have things and in the works right now that we talked about. But all-in-all, everybody’s body is different. Everybody’s will to play is different, and everybody’s desire to be out there is different. So I just think those that are available to play will play, and those that are not, you just got to respect their bodies and respect what they do.
Irving and James played together on the Cleveland Cavaliers for three seasons, and in that time, they managed to win the first-ever NBA Championship in franchise history in 2016. It was their famous comeback over the Golden State Warriors in which they were down 3-1.
Jeanie Buss Discusses LeBron James’ Frustrations
While James is on the brink of breaking the all-time scoring record, he’s not pleased with what’s going on in LA at the moment. The Lakers are currently 23-28 on the season, which is good for just 13th place in the Western Conference standings.
During a recent appearance on the Know Mercy podcast with Stephen A. Smith, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss explained how unhappy James is when he’s not winning.
“I mean, unless he’s winning, he’s not going to be happy,” Buss explained. “That’s him. That’s what drives him. And I could see why he would be frustrated. We’re all frustrated with, you know, we’re down four starters, and he’s our only remaining starter, and he’s gotta show up and play. And, the burden’s on him.”
LeBron James Goes on Rant After Losing to Celtics
One of the Lakers’ most disappointing losses came on January 28 against the Boston Celtics. James was driving to the hoop at the end of the fourth quarter with a chance to win the game. Jayson Tatum fouled him, but the referees didn’t call anything. James went on a furious tirade after the game.
“It’s been building. I mean you guys [have] seen some of the games that we’ve lost this year with late-game missed calls,” James said via CLNS Media. “We had an opportunity to literally win the game. I mean, that’s… This is the second one in the last few weeks for myself. Against Dallas, [we] had an opportunity to win the game if the foul was called. K-Nunn the other day had an opportunity to tie the game if the four-point play is called. I don’t understand. I don’t understand what we’re doing and I watch basketball every single day. I watch these games every single day and I don’t see it happening to nobody else. It’s just weird.”